Steelhead flies: Color choice for water conditions???

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by unrooted, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Red Shed

    Red Shed "junkyard spey"

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    That's the kind of a day I'm having as well so I can totally relate.
     
  2. SPEYBUM

    SPEYBUM Member

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    I picked up a nice Wild Hen last week on the Snoqualmie with a size 8 Woven Case Caddis while swinging for Whitefish.
    "Who would have thunk"

    The Air Temp was in the 20's.

    Just go with what you have faith in and the fish will come.
    :confused:
     
  3. unrooted

    unrooted Active Member

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    Thanks, I'm not sure why anyone thought I was trolling, just trying to find a reason to keep going out, this is more of a mental game than anything else I do.
     
  4. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    Don't give up!!! When deciding on colors, I look at the popular colors of blue fox vibrax spinners, kwikfish, and micro jigs used by gear heads. I model many of my color combos after these lures. Does it mean anything? probably not, but they are certainly tried and true fish catching colors
     
  5. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    I'm going to say something here...and while going "against the grain"..(sorry listening to Dan Patrick show and that song is stuck in my head now)....I think you have to ask yourself this question...

    Are you fishing for numbers or for the fish? If it's numbers then stick with gear...I caught a lot more steelhead using bait, jensen eggs, wool etc. then on the fly...I haven't picked my pin up in a few years now because it bored me after awhile and the "journey" of trying to catch them on the fly began for me...

    Part of that is learning to tie and part of it is building your very own selection in what you tie. ESL is one of my all time favorites but if I had to tie that fly all the time I would lose my appreciation for what tying and fishing flies is all about....I don't know if that makes sense to anyone or not? For me, one of joys of this game is looking in other peoples boxes, tying flies that challenge me for their beauty and deciding which flies I like to fish and what ones I like to tie just for my own pleasure...

    After all that I fish flies that give me confidence but am always trying new patterns and colors to explore both how they look and move in the water and what gives me pleasure to fish...Sometimes the two are not the same as with the ESL. Great movement and a steelhead favorite...but I find myself fishing it less and less as I learn to tie other patterns and explore how to make materials work that are both traditional and cutting edge in their use..

    Maybe I'm going over yours and everyone's head on this...but for me a big part of doing what I'm doing is trying to develop a pattern that I've worked on from various aspects, i.e. material versus movement to color...that when done makes me feel excited about fishing it, as well as feeling more of a connection to the fish because of the time and thought process that went into it..

    I somehow think all this gets lost on the "Lets just fish some basic animal strips and it's all good mentality" I somehow feel there is much lost in that approach...strictly my humble opinion on that...but it's the never ending journey in the sport that makes it so rewarding...not the numbers IMHO

    rollralfroll......
     
  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    Golfman,

    I've gone through phases over and over again. I knew Syd Glasso and Wes Drain and would think I should work harder to emulate the beautiful flies they tied. I tie some nice ones occasionally, but have come to recognize that I'm not a natural born artist. Then I get pissed or frustrated looking at some of my attempts at artful tying, realize I"m running low on bait, and then just start slapping materials on hooks and calling it good because I'm confident that they work just as well, and they always have. But I do appreciate good artwork. I just don't think you'll ever be seeing my flies in magazine photo spreads.

    Sg
     
  7. Bob Jones

    Bob Jones Still truckless now farther away

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    Salmo-g and Golfman I see it both ways the thril of tying some thing that fools the fish is something special, but the challange of tying something that is just looking like you wanted it to look its beauty and design are what you've been struggling to get just right.but those I maynever fish again or tye for that matter. My tyiing now is a struggle in futillity because of my parkinsons and I try and try to tie like I see the fly look on the pages of the magazines and tear them apart and do it again and again and give up and do it however I can because I found quite awhile ago that the fish will strike even my poor tying and it's not the skill I tie with but the skill I get the fly in front of the fish that works. or did work. They must think my fly is something even if it doesn't look like what it's suppose to imitate. and I don't care so I go on fishing with my poor flies that work if I put them where they need to be. And I can still keep on tying for a while longer.
     
  8. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    You hear the fly doesn't matter and that being at the right place at the right time is the key to catching steelhead. This is mostly true, but one thing that does matter and definately make a difference is color and profile. Not just water clarity but overcast vs. sunshine. Think of it this way: dark equals dark and sunshine equals bright. I like purple and black for dark and orange and green for bright. Profile: skinny water equals smaller and high flows equal larger. I like general pracs for small and intruders for large.
     
  9. Bob Jones

    Bob Jones Still truckless now farther away

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    Trying to think it through you can over think it and discourage your self. Mainlly you 've got to keep the fun in it. so that you enjoy going out any time and don't worrry about the results. then when the good ones come along you can stand up and cheer. I always have fun and sometimes I don't even get my line wet unless its raining. I do get a big boost from the guys I get to go with so that helps make my trip. Go out for fun then think about it. I used to enjoy fishing more when I lived down there but that may be age and not knowing my way around here. But I still do all I can to get out because I love to.
     
  10. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    start out getting good at targeting summer runs...at least you'll know they exist that way, and the same dark fly/light fly rules apply
     
  11. Creatch'r

    Creatch'r Heavies...

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    I feel ya golfman. Swinging for steelhead is a low numbers prospect for me. Sometimes entire days go by without even a bull trout nibble. Sometimes those days turn into weeks. I hooked a steelhead last week for the first time since october. What keeps me motivated? Evolution. Of flies, gear, technique, water selection, casting,etc. There is a big difference to me between fishing a store bought esl and fishing a fly of my design. On its fifth revision. With everything accounted for. Who knows if it makes any actual difference. But in my own head its everything. From sink tips to string leeches to intruders to the knots I tie and the mends I make I try to make it all count. Personally color doesn't play out too deeply in my box. I worry more about designing a fly for the type of water I intend to fish through weight and use of materials and then have different sizes and profiles to offer for varying water conditions. I tie a lot. Big and dark. Small and dark. Big and bright. Small and nright. And I pick colors that look pretty together. I think about making the money bug for Soft inside water. Roily guts. Tailouts. And ''other"
     
  12. Creatch'r

    Creatch'r Heavies...

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  13. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    one thing I will say that deserves attention here... fishing flies tied using a stinger octopus hook vs traditional hook has GREATLY increased my hookup to landing ratio, from somewhere around 70 percent to now over 90 percent. Makes a huge difference, and Im confident that if I can get a good hookset I will NO lose that fish
     
  14. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    That pretty much nails it for me too...

    and salmo, don't take me as an artist either...just enjoy ones that take a little longer and make me stop and think about what to put where...and more then a few when I saw them in water were major disappointments...

    What's funny is, think about how many variations you can tie of the ESL...material wise etc. pretty stupid but fun trying to see what materials, flash, lack of etc. you can do to that one pattern and try and put your own mark on it..

    Right now i'm working on an old english shrimp pattern that so far only the bulls have shown any love...got like 10 different ones that are slowly evolving into what I'm looking for...

    fun game...
     
  15. unrooted

    unrooted Active Member

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    My biggest problem is a lack of fish, I don't know if anything I'm doing has anything to do with it, besides fishing the wrong stretch, but I don't want to fish big bright fur-balls if it's going to scare the chromers away.