"All" there is to know about flyfishing for steelhead!!

Philster

Active Member
#16
Re:

You have to take everything with a grain of salt and keep perspective. 30 percent (the original ballpark claim) on a type 6 is an inch to 1 3/4 of a inch depending on the companies claim (and they are all overstated). We're arguing over a very small amount per second, but even a half inch advantage in a six foot run is significant. Test it for yourself if you are inclined. I have. I'm not claiming to have never been skunked or catching fish hand over hand. I'm saying I've personally watched 11 wt beat 8 wt to the bottom of the pool time after time.

Let's say you a are fishing a run that is 4 to 6 feet deep and using a type 6. Cast, mend, make sure you ensure no tension on the line as it sinks and count to 12. Are you on the bottom? First off, the number of folks who can keep significant tension off the line for 12 seconds is pretty small. The number who even would bother to is smaller still. So what's going on underwater?

First of all, sink rate numbers mean very little in the real world. Current, water temperature, Thermocline in lakes, tippet length and fly size and or weight all play a role in a line getting down. The way the sinktip lands on the water (straight or in a clump), as well as where the floating portion of the line is behind the tip matter.

One thing most people don't think about is STAYING down once the line is down? Think for a moment about what might help keep a line down. Would mass (grains per foot)help? What about the ability to deliver a massive fly through the air? Would mass help?

Yes we are in wonderous age where flyline companies can change the density without changing the weight of a sinktip from type to type. Being able to say "6 inches" instead of "3 to 5 inches depending on line weight" (typically 4wt to 10wt), is great, and it is around 6 inches, give or take. Well actually it's around 4 inches in reality, but hey who's counting:rolleyes Get the mask on, get in a body of water and check things out.

This is fun. Maybe next time you can convince me that a couple thousandths of an inch matter in tippet selection;)
 
#17
Re:

I belong to the steelhead aren't hard to catch school; they are just hard to find. And you don't need a lot fish, just the one or two that would make your day. You do need a spot of KNOWN holding water, somewhere where you have seen fished taken from and you, yourself, have either had strikes or hooked fish. Go to these spots my friend, remember and map them and hope they don't change. Fish them carefully, but always remember that there is a fish in there and so work it over and over and then go on to the next.
Bob, the When I have fished all of the water out of a hole, I move on to the next.;)
 

inland

Active Member
#18
Re:

"I belong to the steelhead aren't hard to catch school; they are just hard to find."

Amen Mr. Lawless!!! That is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.

William
 

Philster

Active Member
#19
Re:

Hey Bob, I'm down with you. My initial post that digressed into a discussion of sink rates was essentially "fish a type six head and unweighted flies(for 8 or 9 weight, type 3 for 10/11), spot the honeyhole, fish the honeyhole"

Simple indeed. Just add confidence:+
 
#20
Lani Waller

You know I have spoke to Lani several times, even though he is about to retire I'm sure if you called him he would graciously help you out. He has forgotten more aboout steelhead fishing than you and I will probably ever learn, plus it is awesome to talk to a living legend like Lani. It has been my experience that he will talk about just being apart of the environ and enjoying it and taking it all in that the actual catch, call him he's very easy to talk to. JIm
 
#21
"All" there is to know about flyfishing for steelhead!!

Hello all,
I have been checking out some tapes on flyfishing for steelhead and I now know "all" that there is to know on the subhect. First of all, if any of you have the chance to take a look at the 3M/Scientific Angler series on fishing for Pacific Steelhead do yourself a favor and check them out. Lani Waller is the host and does a very good job of passing on a lot of good stuff. Very good stuff!

OK, so all I need to know in order to catch steelhead is:

1) Read the water to determine where fish will rest and hold
2) Determine the appropriate cast and mend to allow my fly to swing down and across the current at the appropriate depth and speed
3) Learn how to judge water conditions so that I can choose the correct line and leader combinations
4) Carry a good assortment of flies that will allow me to fish on top or will achieve the proper depth quickly in a variety of water conditions
5) Become a proficient caster so that I can minimize false casts and gain accuracy in my casts
6) Keep a log of the run a fish so I know what worked and what didn't

I could keep going, but my hands are getting tired. Obviously I'm being a bit sarcastic here, because each of those things (and so many more) contribute to being successful, but if you had to narrow the list down to one or two items what would you say are the most important things to keep in mind when flyfishing for steelhead?

Thanks,
Mike
Add these to your list:

1. Keep a positive/optimistic outlook.
2. Resolve (You will catch a steehead if you keep at it.)
3. Have a willingness to learn, and don't be afraid to ask more experienced anglers for advice (I think that you have got this covered.).
 
#22
"Take nothing but pictures leave nothing but your tracks"

Good point Matt on the spey. I single casted 22 years for steelhead now spey the last 2 years and it is way more efficient way to cover the water and get your fly deep, plus easier on your entire body once you learn the spey mechanics. I'm hooked as they say, no way will I use single handers now unless my speys break. Heck one did this September I had to use my single hander all day and what a chore and realization that was showing how much more efficient the spey way is. My arm ached for two days after this since I had not casted a single hander for almost two years.

Now when I grab a rod its always with two hands so I guess I am fully converted.

What do I do with my 12 single handed rods though ?

:(

BG
Add just one bit to Hal's post above. YOU CAN SPEY CAST, and quite easily, with a single hander rod. A few are less than handy (Snake roll as an example) but most are easy as 'pie.' For context, all the 'new rage' are the shorter 'switch rods' (usually 11 to 12.5 foot) and all they are is a long single hander with an extended butt below the reel.

The rod doesn't know, the rod doesn't care.

fae
 

Jerry Daschofsky

Moderator
Staff member
#23
"All" there is to know about flyfishing for steelhead!!

Guys guys guys. Just a word of advice. If by chance you do a search for something. BEFORE you post, look at the date of the post. This post is over 6 years old. Nothing wrong with searching the site, that's what it's for. But realize that the person who may have been posting this (or even some of the people responding to it) no longer come here, or may be banned/parked. :)
 
#25
"All" there is to know about flyfishing for steelhead!!

Good catch Jerry, good catch. Save for it was SIX YEARS from the original post to the first reply; how odd?
fae
 
#26
"Take nothing but pictures leave nothing but your tracks"

Good point Matt on the spey. I single casted 22 years for steelhead now spey the last 2 years and it is way more efficient way to cover the water and get your fly deep, plus easier on your entire body once you learn the spey mechanics. I'm hooked as they say, no way will I use single handers now unless my speys break. Heck one did this September I had to use my single hander all day and what a chore and realization that was showing how much more efficient the spey way is. My arm ached for two days after this since I had not casted a single hander for almost two years.

Now when I grab a rod its always with two hands so I guess I am fully converted.

What do I do with my 12 single handed rods though ?

:(

BG
What I said 6 years ago in 2005 still applies, but I use my p;d single hand steelhead and salmon fly rods for bass fishing now, poppers most of the time. Even use the speyr for big river smallmouth swinging nymphs and streamers the last five years. The body is a lot less tired than trying to cast a single hander all day on a big windy river.

Steelhead, true, you need to find them when they are there, then they can be easy to catch.
 

TomB

Active Member
#28
"What good is a Type X designation if it doesn't correlate to anything?".....now you are on to something. Rio's ratings are shit.
 

Panhandle

Active Member
#29
Don't fish on clear days in the middle of the afternoon...... BS. I've caught as many steelhead at 2:00pm with no cloud cover, sun right in their eyes, and air temperatures in the 90's, as I have in the mornings and evenings. I suppose this has to do with the fact that I fish regardless, rather than sitting out the mid-days. In other words, the best steelhead fishing method is to fish.
 
#30
Have to agree PH, save for one river ... the North Umpqua. Odd water in the fly only section. That part of the river, until you hit 'Camp Water' runs east/west so it gets full sun and the fish just aren't interested. Now just above CW, the river makes a 90 degree turn to the right, and into canyon water. Three'ish hours a day of direct sun, then in the shade. OH YA BABY! if you're fishing 'Surveyor' and up.

Even with a spey rod it's very short casts, but that type of rod (or a 'switch,' which I'd suggest from here on up) keeps you out of the trees behind you. but Lordie is this great water to swing/nymph.

fae