in certain rivers, given conditions, I believe steelhead get very "trouty". The attached blog from The Trinity Fly Shop addresses this at the bottom of the page under the heading "Bussman's Holiday". http://trinityflyshop.com/blog/?paged=2 Those of you who know Herb Burton know he's a straight shooter, no BS tolerated or given. The upper Trinity is a rich tailwater with unbelievable insect life and I think the fish quickly revert to their smolt phase and take advantage of opportunities when presented. While I personally haven't taken any on a traditional dead drift ( I did have one blow up a Bomber as soon as it hit the water, before it began to skate; naturally, I yanked it out of his mouth instead of waiting for the turn), I have friends who have though, and most of my fish come on small naturals (Golden stones, Caddis soft hackles & BHs in #14-16's) fished traditional nymph (no indicator) on the upper drift, then allowed to lift and swing. They often take on the swing or hang. Re: water temps, the T is pretty consistently below 50F, commonly 42-46F after Mid-October. G_Smolt; got any small skater patterns to share?