Fishing for steelhead in the sun....

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by JesseC, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    Location:
    seattle, wa
    I know this isn't a thread about wild vs native vs swinging vs beadazzling vs suing dfw..... so, I hope it's not mistakingly categorized as a troll topic because it's so far off the general topics as of late. This is real.

    What tactics do you guys use when fishing for winter steelhead when it's bright and sunny? I know this happens maybe .01% of the time. But, I have to admit, my confidence level drops big time when the sun and glare come out. I honestly would rather fish an off color river given my history of sunny skunkage.

    Do you lengthen the leader? Do you start fishing the riffles more? Do you look for the shade? Do you change up the color of your flies to something brighter?

    Curious.
     
  2. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    2,819
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Tacoma
    It depends on water clarity and height for me. If it's low clear and warm (50ish), long leaders, light tips and fine and far off. If it's sunny but with dirty water, same tactics as usual.
     
    fredaevans and Ed Call like this.
  3. Yard Sale

    Yard Sale Huge Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,749
    Likes Received:
    1,982
    Location:
    The Hood
    Screw fishing, its time to crack a corona, light the BBQ and find a nice sandy beach!



    OK, maybe I throw on a tip and start fishing faster/deeper water with brighter flies. And crack a corona...
     
  4. plaegreid

    plaegreid Saved by the buoyancy of citrus

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,383
    Likes Received:
    2,114
    Location:
    Laramie, WY
    You come in here, asking relevant, non-troll questions, and you expect reasoned, informative answers? What, YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTAH THAN ME?

    And I switch to smaller flies, but it doesn't matter because I am made of bananas.
     
  5. jake-e-boy

    jake-e-boy sans caféine

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,446
    Likes Received:
    862
    I've only caught steelhead on the swing while eating bananas, granted they have all been tiny summer hatchery brats... shit now i'm trolling. With summer runs I go light, long leader and tiny flies.

    edit: would employ same tactic on sunny/warm days with winters, granted light leader for me is still 8-10# maxima
     
    NateTreat likes this.
  6. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    5,141
    Likes Received:
    3,086
    Location:
    m-ville
    I try to fish shaded water but in the middle of the day often riffles have provided the best results.
     
    Ed Call likes this.
  7. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,734
    Likes Received:
    2,013
    Location:
    seattle-ish
    Wasn't all this info covered at some class at orvis a while back?;)
    I made two solo carcamp trips to the OP this winter, both were super sunny, low flows. if you look at the flows in march they were the calms in between the storms. tried everything up high in the system in the clear water with no luck. Then I found bigger, dirty water, downriver and landed a fish on a smallish black and purple fly. This was my first steelhead so I'm definitely not an expert, but it seemed to make sense.
     
    Darthmonkey and JesseC like this.
  8. jake-e-boy

    jake-e-boy sans caféine

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,446
    Likes Received:
    862
    as a grand master steelheader once told a group of novices (including me), "any color works, long as it is black"
     
  9. hydrological

    hydrological beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    116
    Location:
    inland
    unless its right in their eyes, or the water is really low and clear, i dont think its as bad as some people think. if it is almost straight upstream, i try to fish from the bank that will have them following my swing away from the sun. while i'd rather have the sun behind them, that has gotten me fish at times when i couldnt fish a better run.
     
  10. danimal

    danimal Inglorious Twohander

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    michiana,SW lk mich

    Same here. I fish the water that everyone passes on "cause there aint no fish in there-why bother"
     
  11. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    7,438
    Likes Received:
    2,554
    Location:
    Ruby Valley, MT
    I don't like fishing full sun either - particularly for steelhead.
     
  12. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    2,906
    Likes Received:
    1,071
    Location:
    Bellingham Wa.
    For me it depends on water clarity and time of day. If the water is off color I fish as usual. If it is clear and in the morning I will look for shade, in the afternoon I'll fish in the sun. Two years ago I was fishing the Bogey in march, it was a warm sunny march day and we were pulling plugs through a deep slow slot ( yes I fish plugs at times). I was on the sticks and the other guys were day dreaming. Right in front of us in full sun was a 7-8# nate with his dorsal out of the water, just laying there, I took a pull on the oars and he bolted. The fish was over deep water laying on the surface soakin up the rays.

    In the sun I will go a little smaller and sometimes brighter.
     
    Ed Call likes this.
  13. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,781
    Likes Received:
    1,792
    Location:
    Vancouver WA
    there is no need to change anything.. the big reason people catch fewer fish in the sun is because they show up early and leave when the sun gets on the water, furthermore by the time the sun gets on the water all the good water has been fished and the aggressive fish have already been taken.
     
    NateTreat likes this.
  14. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    Location:
    seattle, wa
    Lots of good advice and thoughts. Thanks gents.
     
  15. Chawhee

    Chawhee Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    133
    Smaller with gold and red =)
     
    JesseC likes this.