Steelhead flies: Color choice for water conditions???

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by unrooted, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,473
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,617 / 0

    I've gone through phases over and over again. I knew Syd Glasso and Wes Drain and would think I should work harder to emulate the beautiful flies they tied. I tie some nice ones occasionally, but have come to recognize that I'm not a natural born artist. Then I get pissed or frustrated looking at some of my attempts at artful tying, realize I"m running low on bait, and then just start slapping materials on hooks and calling it good because I'm confident that they work just as well, and they always have. But I do appreciate good artwork. I just don't think you'll ever be seeing my flies in magazine photo spreads.

  2. Bob Jones Still truckless now farther away

    Salmo-g and Golfman I see it both ways the thril of tying some thing that fools the fish is something special, but the challange of tying something that is just looking like you wanted it to look its beauty and design are what you've been struggling to get just right.but those I maynever fish again or tye for that matter. My tyiing now is a struggle in futillity because of my parkinsons and I try and try to tie like I see the fly look on the pages of the magazines and tear them apart and do it again and again and give up and do it however I can because I found quite awhile ago that the fish will strike even my poor tying and it's not the skill I tie with but the skill I get the fly in front of the fish that works. or did work. They must think my fly is something even if it doesn't look like what it's suppose to imitate. and I don't care so I go on fishing with my poor flies that work if I put them where they need to be. And I can still keep on tying for a while longer.
  3. Panhandle Active Member

    Posts: 4,103
    Selkirk Mountains, Idaho Panhandle
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    You hear the fly doesn't matter and that being at the right place at the right time is the key to catching steelhead. This is mostly true, but one thing that does matter and definately make a difference is color and profile. Not just water clarity but overcast vs. sunshine. Think of it this way: dark equals dark and sunshine equals bright. I like purple and black for dark and orange and green for bright. Profile: skinny water equals smaller and high flows equal larger. I like general pracs for small and intruders for large.
  4. Bob Jones Still truckless now farther away

    Trying to think it through you can over think it and discourage your self. Mainlly you 've got to keep the fun in it. so that you enjoy going out any time and don't worrry about the results. then when the good ones come along you can stand up and cheer. I always have fun and sometimes I don't even get my line wet unless its raining. I do get a big boost from the guys I get to go with so that helps make my trip. Go out for fun then think about it. I used to enjoy fishing more when I lived down there but that may be age and not knowing my way around here. But I still do all I can to get out because I love to.
  5. stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Posts: 1,548
    Carlsbad, CA
    Ratings: +281 / 0
    start out getting good at targeting summer least you'll know they exist that way, and the same dark fly/light fly rules apply
  6. Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Posts: 2,112
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +466 / 1
    I feel ya golfman. Swinging for steelhead is a low numbers prospect for me. Sometimes entire days go by without even a bull trout nibble. Sometimes those days turn into weeks. I hooked a steelhead last week for the first time since october. What keeps me motivated? Evolution. Of flies, gear, technique, water selection, casting,etc. There is a big difference to me between fishing a store bought esl and fishing a fly of my design. On its fifth revision. With everything accounted for. Who knows if it makes any actual difference. But in my own head its everything. From sink tips to string leeches to intruders to the knots I tie and the mends I make I try to make it all count. Personally color doesn't play out too deeply in my box. I worry more about designing a fly for the type of water I intend to fish through weight and use of materials and then have different sizes and profiles to offer for varying water conditions. I tie a lot. Big and dark. Small and dark. Big and bright. Small and nright. And I pick colors that look pretty together. I think about making the money bug for Soft inside water. Roily guts. Tailouts. And ''other"
  7. Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Posts: 2,112
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +466 / 1
  8. stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Posts: 1,548
    Carlsbad, CA
    Ratings: +281 / 0
    one thing I will say that deserves attention here... fishing flies tied using a stinger octopus hook vs traditional hook has GREATLY increased my hookup to landing ratio, from somewhere around 70 percent to now over 90 percent. Makes a huge difference, and Im confident that if I can get a good hookset I will NO lose that fish
  9. golfman65 Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    That pretty much nails it for me too...

    and salmo, don't take me as an artist either...just enjoy ones that take a little longer and make me stop and think about what to put where...and more then a few when I saw them in water were major disappointments...

    What's funny is, think about how many variations you can tie of the ESL...material wise etc. pretty stupid but fun trying to see what materials, flash, lack of etc. you can do to that one pattern and try and put your own mark on it..

    Right now i'm working on an old english shrimp pattern that so far only the bulls have shown any like 10 different ones that are slowly evolving into what I'm looking for...

    fun game...
  10. unrooted Member

    Posts: 88
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    My biggest problem is a lack of fish, I don't know if anything I'm doing has anything to do with it, besides fishing the wrong stretch, but I don't want to fish big bright fur-balls if it's going to scare the chromers away.
  11. stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Posts: 1,548
    Carlsbad, CA
    Ratings: +281 / 0
    you dont have to worry about that at all!
  12. Cougar97 Member

    Posts: 114
    Spokane Washington
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    I fish mainly in the fall with low water conditions. just think contrast, contrast, contrast...... It has always worked for me. Having said that I have buddies that fish nothing but solid colors and the catch fish as well. To each his own. Here are a couple that worked well for me on the Eastside.

    Tight Lines,
  13. EarlyRiser New Member

    Posts: 13
    Sandpoint, Idaho
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    IMO, fish are stupid. As long as you get it in front of their face, you've solved to 99% guessing game. It's more important to find what depth then what color or pattern. The other 1% is up to the fish if they want to take it or not.