Screw this low water crap

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Yard Sale, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Yard Sale

    Yard Sale Huge Member

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    Let's talk big dirty! Snow on the ground and pineapples in the forecast.

    What's your style?

    Anybody else got a floater tip? image.jpg
     
  2. constructeur

    constructeur Active Member

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    Floater + Intruder?
     
  3. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

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    [​IMG]

    Just kidding....


    I'd give these a try
    [​IMG]

    But would end up cutting it off after one run of not being successful and tie this on
    [​IMG]

    And eventually get worried I'm going to lose it and finally throw this on
    [​IMG]

    And continue to fish it for the rest of the week.
     
    PT and Jason Rolfe like this.
  4. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    Your images aren't working for me.
     
  5. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

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    ?? I just logged out and went incognito and they worked fine. Clear cache buddy.
     
  6. Jason Rolfe

    Jason Rolfe Wanderer

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    worked fine for me. Nice progression by the way!
     
  7. Yard Sale

    Yard Sale Huge Member

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    Yeah, I'm a heathen. I have a floater tip for the skagit. Great for rolling over big flies. Tied up that intruder because the box is full and I hadn't tied one for a while. Usually you will find a MOAL with a deer head on my line.

    Wondering how many people have the self discipline to keep the running line on the reel? I tend to move slow in the dirty stuff so the only way to cover water is with short swings. Tail outs being the exception.

    Maybe I'm outsmarting myself? Wouldn't be the first time...
     
  8. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    If one can catch the river on the drop after a high water event during the migration period for the target fish it may be one the best times for the fly angler to take a steelhead (and actually out fish the gear anglers). I'm partial with water that is both "dirty water" and above normal flows. I would look for water that is 1 to 3 feet higher than normal and visibility of 6 to 18 inches. Success may require some adaption from what would be considered "normal". Keep in mind you will be targeting traveling fish which under the conditions described will be moving along the edges of the river. Your best success will come from fish that will be in only a foot to 3 feet of water. I look for "bars" with "traveling" current seams and if possible some rough bottom (irregular bottom or scatter larger stones (pausing spots). The best spots may well be devoid of fish under most conditions with the best water varying quite a bit at different flows.

    Once one grasps the water that will fish it really becomes a "hunting" game; covering lots of water looking for traveling pods of fish. Once a reach of water is found that has moving fish it is time to slow down on water that you feel you are covering effectively - the fish will come to you. Under these conditions both hatchery and wild fish will be players (though the wild fish will almost be the more aggressive with longer migration windows.

    Under these conditions your presentation will be much different than one might think. Since you are fishing shallow unweighted flies and lighter sink tips will be the norm. I like flies in the 3 to 4 inch range with most being dark (black, dark brown, purple and blue) though don't underestimate the effectiveness of white. In most cases short casts (30 to 60 feet) are the norm and a single hand rod will preform nicely. Though because of the higher flows the ability to roll cast as you may find yourself backed up against brush, trees, or high banks. What I found to work well is to make a cast to just beyond the expected travel water (experience is the best teacher), make a short mean and the fish the fly back to the shallows stripping all the way- streamer fishing. Take a step or two downstream and repeat the exact same cast and retrieve; efficiently covering the water is the name of the game. Find a routine that is comfortable and "fits" you.

    I'll fish a likely bar covering what I think is the productive water and if I don't find a fish or see rolling fish I typically move downstream several miles looking for that "pod of fish". If I find fish or encouraging signs I stay on the same water (going back to the top and fishing down multiple times) until I feel the pod of fish moved on up river. At that point I'll move upstream and run or two (depending how far I have to go to find water that will "fish" hoping to catch lighting in a bottle again. An alternate approach is look for a "choking point" where you can camp out waiting for the fish to come to you. Those choking points are current/bottom conditions that force the traveling fish to move through a narrow and consistent slot that will allow for easy fly presentation. Such spots can be rare but will experienced can be recognized with the location filed away for those days or conditions that fish will be on the move.

    The upside to learning to fish under such condition is that pressure and competition for the best spots will be far less than when conditions are "ideal"!

    Curt
     
  9. golfman44

    golfman44 4-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year

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    Awesome post, thanks for this.
     
  10. Yard Sale

    Yard Sale Huge Member

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    Smalma,

    Sounds like we it the same way. I was surprised to hear you say you move several miles if you don't find fish. When you say a pod of fish, how big do you think these pods are? Guess it can depend on previous conditions, but generally speaking how much water do you think a pod can occupy?