New to Fly fishing steelhead??

I have fly fished for trout in lakes a few years ago. My rod has since broke. It was a cheap combo. I went steelhead fishing last weekend and now want to try it with a fly rod. I would like any and all info from rods to reels to line and flies. I live in Camas and will be fishing the North fork of the lewis and the Kalama and my be the Toutle. My brother just bought a drift boat so we plan on using it alot. I also know a few people that live on the Klickitat. Please help.
Hi Josh -
I think by searching the forums you'll find a good deal of information. I believe a 8wt or 9wt rod is what you'll be needing. TFO rods have very good reviews here and are probably the best bang for your buck. The second best thing to searchign the forums is to visit your local fly fishing shop, they'll explain everything to you and make suggestions.
Good luck!
You are entering a great, trying experience. So here we go, rod should be what feels the best since this is the piece of equitment most left up to feel. Try as many as possible before buying, remember you will often have to deal with wind so a faster action usually is best. Reel should be a large arbor so to pick up as much line as possible when the fish runs straight at you, which it will. Also be sure the reel is light enough that casting all day long will not waste your arm. Line should get down quick, I like the teeny 200, just me but it has out performed any other line I have used. You will get too many suggestions for flies, so here is mine: anything purple and black no matter what time of year. Should have good action. Good luck and report back on what you decided and how it works.

John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
Do a search on this site for Steelhead and you will know more than you can ever have hoped to learn. Some of the guys on this site are a who's who of steelhead fishing on the fly.
One of the quickest ways to shorten the learning curve is by hiring a guide. Find a guide who will teach you what it takes to be a successful steelhead fisherman. If you're fortunate you may already have, or be able to find, a fly fishing mentor who'll take you under their wing and help you learn. There are also guides who offer "steelhead schools" which are less expensive than a two on one guided trip, but are in group settings. Also, the Sandy River Spey Clave and the Clearwater Spey Clave have a wealth of information with many incredible fishermen offering hands on instruction, in most cases, for free.
Take care,
There are a few things you need to think about as you look.
Do you want to fish for Steelhead in the SUmmer or Winter? Or do you want to compromise and get a set up for both?
Do you want to try Spey casting or single handed? WIth the boat, are you going to fish from it or use it as transport down the river to fish from bank?
How hardcore do you think you will get? Starting out with a less expensive steelhead rod can be a good thing or getting something a little more higher end can be good? I bought the first cheap steelhead spey combo that came by. And Its allright, but after just a couple of seasons I need to plunk down more money to upgrade. So I really will spend even more in my attempt to save money. Learn from my mistakes.

So try some rods and think about what you believe you might be needing from a rod. Obviously its hard to see into the future, but knowing what waters you will be hitting primarily is a good start.
To keep it simple: A 9- to 10-foot, 7 or 8-wt. rod, with a floating line and a fast sinking tip line on an extra reel spool will cover most situations (and also equip you for heavy-duty trout and inshore salmon). For flies, a selection of No. 4 and 6 light-wire and heavy-wire hooks, plus a few smaller and larger. Get a lot of blacks and purples; some oranges and reds. Specific patterns aren't important. Your odds will always be long, but better around dawn and dusk, on overcast days. Above all, practice stealth; you can't catch a steelhead that's afraid of you.