My Two Steelhead Last Weekend

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by HauntedByWaters, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,904
    Likes Received:
    262
    Location:
    Bellingham
    Thought I should share my recent success. Two nice looking hatchery steelhead from two different rivers last weekend. One I couldn't photograph until I got home and the other my buddy had a crappy little camera. The smaller silver one was dinner that day and the larger darker one I smoked yesterday to perfection. The smaller one was just shy of 5# and the other just shy of 10# at 30 inches. The larger one absolutely nailed me and took me downriver fast, it was a great fighter. I was using my buddy's cheater fly, a pink worm thing because the river was super dirty and rising by the minute (that was the last torrential Tuesday). Anyway, haven't gotten 2 steelhead from 2 different rivers (totally different systems) in one weekend ever before so it made me feel pretty good about myself. Confidence is way up now! Hope you all are having a great day! :)
     
  2. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    5,057
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Snohomish, WA.
    Nice!
     
  3. rudejude

    rudejude Banned or Parked

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    everett
    Man those are some really nice fish, great job. I have a question for you, do you think I could catch steelhead with a 5/6 weight rod and say a 9' leader , but what size leader should I use? if you don't mind.
     
  4. rainbow

    rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Renton wa
    Home Page:
    I use 10 pound florocabon.
     
  5. SteveA

    SteveA Gnu to the board

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Western WA
    Very nice! You have inspired me to continue my quest for the mighty steelhead.

    Steve A
     
  6. rudejude

    rudejude Banned or Parked

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    everett
    Just regular leader or the tapered leader, sorry I am new and also I think I spelled it wrong I think it is leeder:confused:
     
  7. Mulligan

    Mulligan Stephen Mull

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Messages:
    650
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Seattle
    Many of the smaller hatchery steelhead are manageable on a 6 weight, but I wouldn't recommend fishing where there could be big winter natives lurking--for your rods sake but mostly for the fish's sake. At 9 feet, it will probably be helpful to taper a bit. There was a recent post about whether people use a tapered leader when swinging, check that out.
     
  8. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,904
    Likes Received:
    262
    Location:
    Bellingham
    I think a 5/6 is adequete for most steelhead but I can tell you it would have been really tought to land the 10# in that picture on a 5/6. Also, you have to keep in mind that a wild steelhead is something that must be brought in quickly and released quickly so the backbone to horse the fish is a must. I always keep hatchery fish, so in these cases I played the fish out in the water after I identified a clipped fin. With a wild fish I don't mind losing them by putting on a lot of preasure as long as I get a good look before they are gone. A floating line and long leader is definately the way to go for summer and fall fish. However, winter fish holding areas that can be covered thoroughly with a floating line are rare. I think a sink tip is a must for winter fishing. On that sink tip I tie 2-4 feet of Maxima ultragreen 8# as my tippet almost always. Length is determined by clarity. Your setup is a fine summer-run setup so get ready for June!
     
  9. Fishful Thinking

    Fishful Thinking Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Thanks for the great post - THATS what this board's about. A nice story, some good pics, and you've actually inspired someone. Again, thanks.

    Rich
     
  10. rudejude

    rudejude Banned or Parked

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    everett
    Some very good points made, I will remember them all and thanks for the willingness to help. now I need some new gear:beathead: And I will check that post out.....RJ
     
  11. JRSly

    JRSly Oncorhynchus clarki clarki

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bellingham, Washington, USA.
    Nice work Buehler, glad I got to see the pictures.
     
  12. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Camano Island, WA, USA.
    Home Page:
    Ahhhh, a refreshing post for a change!
    Nice hatchery brats out of two different rivers, makes for a great weekend in my book:thumb:

    LB
     
  13. John Hilt

    John Hilt YeeeeHaaw

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Man those are some really nice fish, great job. I have a question for you, do you think I could catch steelhead with a 5/6 weight rod and say a 9' leader , but what size leader should I use? if you don't mind.

    There is a good article in the winter edition of "Flyfishing & Tying Journal" by Rob Crandall explaining an alternate leader setup for dead drifting egg patterns. It works really well and helps your fly (if using floating line) get down quickly.

    Basically it goes Fly line, nail knot, 40# test (30"), double UNI-knot, 20# test (6"), double UNI-knot, 10# (36"-48"), blood knot, 10# (24"). Leave an extra long (6"-10") tag of line from the 36"-48" section. This will allow you to tie a fly on the tag section and at the end of the leader. Attach BB's just above the blood knot.

    If this is confusing then get the mag and read the article, it is worth trying.
     
  14. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    2,811
    Likes Received:
    87
    Location:
    Tacoma
    Wow! I've been using 15lb+ for the fish I've been getting... Some guys on the board showed me this, and I must say, it's nice to be able to horse a fish away from debris, espcially on the smaller creeks.
     
  15. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,904
    Likes Received:
    262
    Location:
    Bellingham
    Well to ones own but I like being able to break off when I snag the bottom without too much trouble. I have never had a steelhead break 8# Maxima Ultragreen (Just a chum) on me and I think my 8wt rod would break first. I retie my knots a lot and religiously check my leaders so this may help. Also, I find smaller diameter lines fish better at greater depths with small light flies. I don't fish small creeks much though and I can really see the advantage there.

    Another thing; I would only go that light with Maxima Ultragreen. It ain't like other brands, it is thicker per weight class. I would guess that 8# Ultragreen is more like 12# Rio tippet.