Winter Steelhead Techniques

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by bwtucker83, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. bwtucker83

    bwtucker83 Member

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    Hey everyone. I would just like to hear what techniques you guys are using for winter steelhead. Is the wet fly vs nymphing/dead drift. Any advice would be great.
     
  2. Mike Colagrossi

    Mike Colagrossi Whammo!

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    Well I have tried all of the above this winter and have not yet got lucky. My next move is the next time I see one I am going to physically dive into the river with a spear-gun. If anyone else has tried this technique have you had better luck with the 3 foot or 5 foot spears?

    Mike:thumb
     
  3. Mike Wade

    Mike Wade Member

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    A Dupont Spinner(1/4 stick of dynamite) is much more effective than any size spear and you don't get wet.
     
  4. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Yes. They both have their time and place. Some prefer to do one or the other - but I think if you learn both, and learn when and where to use one over the other - you'll be set:thumb
     
  5. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    Split the difference and go with a 4 footer...
     
  6. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    Of course, on it's face, the choice of "technique" is circumstantial; flows, depth, speed and "color" of the water, structures and bottom topography, temperatures etc.

    I use just about any kind of technique I possibly can to entice a winter fish to strike my fly. Overall I believe that the fuller flows of winter, and the way fish tend to hang and hug the bottom, make the wet-fly swing one of the most productive methods of winter steelheading.

    The whole point is to get the fly slowed down; at the desired depth, and delay it's travel across the swing in order to give the fish an opportunity to whack that thing.In the winter,think: "deep,low and slow". That's true for the dead-drifting presentations in winter as well. Many fish are caught on "the hang", at the end of a drift or swing, as the fly loses velocity and tends to lift and "hangs" downcurrent of the angler. It doesn't hurt to let that thing dangle there a moment or two.

    It is good to learn techniques. They are the tools you work with as a fisherman. In the beginning you will want them all and that can eventually become tedious and consuming. At some point in the game you will begin to see that the boundaries betwen techniques are often better, work better, if they are a little blurred.

    Don't let yourself become dogmatic in presenting the fly. Like a good pitcher in Baseball, change-up frequently. I have watched many fish, that are being presented to, as they begin to react to the metronome-like habitual cast and swing of the fly. There is something about that predictability of movement that "tips-off" some fish. It's unnatural. many fish just drift aside and let the fly swing on bye. So along with the long casts and the deep slow swings, mix things up and try to fish back in towards yourself sometimes, through each few casts, swings and steps downriver. Some fish will move toward the angler as the line, which is quite often way the heck out there, tends to "herd" them not farther away but closer. You might be pushing some fish to your own feet. And while we are on that issue, try to wade less- some winter fish lie very close to the edges in surprisingly shallow and slow water.
     
  7. Bob is right on the money - if you can put a "dead drift"
    just as it starts to swing near a fish - the moment the
    fly starts to change speed can be deadly. Also depending
    on were I'm fishing - the majority are within 20-25 ft
    of the shore and some have even been within 5-10 ft. You
    don't have to cast a country mile for these fish - be
    careful were you put your feet! (think trout):thumb
     

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