Steelhead flies with benefits

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by GreenButt, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. GreenButt

    GreenButt New Member

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    I have been wanting to pose this question to the group for a while. The scenario is steelhead fishing, swinging flies specifically. While I have my sites on the target (40lb steelhead), we all know this is often not our ultimate fortune. Occassionaly the incidental SRC, Dolly or resident rainbow can make all the difference in a day. Just to feel a fish. Herien lies my question, and I mean this to apply only to waters where the incidental catch in question is a fair and legal target (The author of this post would never target out of season, protected or spawning fish), what, if you care to share, are your most general steelhead patterns that also pick up incidentals. Fishing muddlers I have done well for SRC's, and trout but feel the pattern is a bit drab at times for steelhead. Freight trains have brought the occasional rainbow. Fall favorites are my go-to for summer runs but have brought no trout and just a couple dollies. Thoughts?
     
  2. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

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    egg sucking leeches and crystal buggers.
     
  3. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

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    I second the egg sucking leech. I've been getting a lot of Dollies during the winter and it seems cutts and bows this spring.

    Matt Burke
     
  4. Randy Knapp

    Randy Knapp Active Member

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    I've caught all of the above and more on a size 8 black woolly bugger. Dollies and steelhead and rainbows all like purple rabbit stip leeches in a size 4. Have also caught all on a size 10 beadhead nymph of my own design and my buddy has done it on a size 10 hares ear as well as a size 8 muddler and a size 8 spruce.

    Randy

    " When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee" Isaiah 43:2
     
  5. willieboat

    willieboat Member

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    More and more I'm convinced that the fly you are using is the one that works for steelhead. You just have to show it to a "player," which is the one that grabs at that time. SRC's in rivers seem to be the most greedy fish in river, with the attitude of 'get it while the getting is good'. But I do believe that for SRC's in rivers, small patterns work best. Dollys in my limited experience seem to go for long bright patterns.

    Like you we all look for keys, but they change from day to day, trip to trip, fish to fish.
     
  6. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

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    I find that on the Westside, when it comes to steelhead dries many of them seem to pick up cutts and RBs. In fact, since they're practically all I'm catching on steelhead dries, I can almost not call them incidental catches. I liked the Lemire Greased Liner, Haig-Brown Steelhead Bee, McMillan Steelhead Caddis, smaller bombers in natural (rusty's never done much for me, and I've never fished any of the wacky colors like green) and Crystal Caddis (a pattern Dennis Dickson uses, but don't think he invented it). Maybe I should try something bigger like a Wally Waker to bring up the big boys.

    For wet flies, in the summer I tend to fish somewhat buggy looking things precisely because I don't want to limit myself to steelhead - I want a shot at catching something when I'm out there. Spades, silver hiltons, skunks, undertakers, etc. in smaller sizes. I've also picked up trout on smaller traditional speys in natural colors. I don't find the trout on the Westside steelhead streams to be too picky about flies.

    Can't help you on the dollies, as I've never caught one in WA waters. Someday . . . In AK they seemed to hit anything that moved.
     
  7. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    Wooley Worm

    My first steelhead on a fly came to a large, black bodied, grizzly hackled, red butt wooley worm. There have been many more steelhead and SRC after that to the same fly. Keep the hackles on the short side and use or omit the colored butt. Fast water or slow, spring summer or fall, fish love em.

    TC
     
  8. pwoens

    pwoens Active Member

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    glo-bugs seem to catch everything in the system. I once even caught a sucker on a glo-bug.

    ~Patrick ><>

    Faith is nothing until it is everything!
     
  9. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    To date, my most productive fly that has caught just about any species I've went after has been the bunny leech. Not the egg sucking, but just the plain leech. I've caught them all on black and pinks. In fact, one day on the Hoh I caught some cutts, dollies, and a nice steelhead on a pink bunny leech. But to date, I've caught every species I've persued in freshwater rivers(and alot that were incidental) on a pink bunny leech (except Sturgeon).
     
  10. dheike

    dheike New Member

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  11. dheike

    dheike New Member

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    You mean you hookes yourself right? :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl

    A great variation of that fly is the double egg sperm fly.
    Tied: http://www.angelfire.com/wa/salmonid/fly51.html
    Tail is optional.


    Darrin><>

    "Fire hose appliances? They're like Legos for firefighters."
     
  12. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    Sculpins sound like a good idea. The Salmon and steelies will hit them because the sulpins are there to steal their eggs. Even if they are not spawning, they are still agressive, while not feeding, they we kill baitfish that are harassing them. I like a purple bunny leach for steelies, In one day on a small eastern wa steelie stream, i landed a steelhead, a 5lb whitefish, and 2 trout over 12 in. The whitefish was a huge surprise, i thought it was a little steelie.
     
  13. GreenButt

    GreenButt New Member

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    Made an interesting discovery recently and thought I would add it here. BH prince nymph even down to #16 is an awesome steelhead fly. Fishing for trout I ended up hooking 6 steelhead on my 4 WT (yikes). I'll go as far as saying the prince is perhaps in the top 3 fly patterns ever devised for subsurface salmonid fishing. I want to adapt the pattern for steelhead swing style fishing with a proper steelhead hook. Might be awesome.
     

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