Advice Needed - Steelhead Patterns


Addicted to Cane.......
Just moved to Washington in October and am getting myself prepared for winter steelhead. Since I've never fished for them before (all my fishing has been for summer runs) are there recommendations on patterns? I have some time to spend at the vise so any direction would be appreciated.




Active Member
Steelhead fly patterns are of more importance to the angler than to the steelhead. A bit of brightly-colored yarn lashed to a hook would probably work as well as anything else. So far as actual flies are concerned, marabou spiders in a variety of colors are probably as effective as any other patterns and, whether or not it matters to the fish, have an attractive (at least to the angler) action in the water. Any good book of steelhead patterns (John Shewey's Steelhead Flies, for instance) should give you enough inspirational material for years of tying. Just remember you're tying to please yourself, the steelhead doesn't really care.

Figure hooks No. 1 - 2/0; soft materials that respond to current pressures by moving a lot; not too much flash. Basic colors: purple, black, red, orange; accent colors: yellow, pink, blue. Learn to tie basic flies in <ten minutes, so that constant attrition to underwater snags won't break your heart. Tie more elaborate flies as you have extra time and curiosity.
...less than ten minutes, so that underwater snags won't break your heart. Elaborate and experiment when you have time and curiosity.

(Sorry; something's wrong with the "edit" function.)


Active Member
Hmm I would recomend like this.

A box full of different 'flies' is a waste of time (and yes, before you ask, I've got boxes full:rolleyes:). Do the above, but another batch in all 'dark' colours. Only thing I'd add is have them on several size hooks; many times 'smaller IS better.' (Triple x rated movies not withstanding.)