Stocking a Steelhead fly box

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Mike S, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Mike S

    Mike S New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Issaquah, WA
    Thanks for all the suggestions, and a bit of humor.

    My bad for not using the search function, but I am sure you all know how it goes, you get excited about a day on the water, you want to go NOW, and so you ask a question that has likely been asked many times.

    I did go back and search, and read all the posts, sounds like several key factors, color, personal
    'confidence' in the patter, and luck.

    I will get my base stock and go from there, will let everyone know how it goes,

    Mike
     
  2. kodiaksalmon

    kodiaksalmon Jeff B.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    946
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Muskie country!
    I remember my starting out for steelhead in WA, I was overwhelmed too. By the time I left, I had TWO different patterns in varrying colors that I used. And neither was a "proper" established pattern; just me putting something together that I thought looked good.
     
  3. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Kailua Hawaii
    Something unweighted and weighted (bead chain and dumbells), in purple, black, pink and take your pick of yellow, red, orange, or a combo of and a subdued pattern ( The burlap is a good one) plus a nymph and a skater to round it off. A low water pattern or two would top it off nicely. These low water flies can Perils, Brad's Brats or whatever tied low water or even Blue Charms or Atlantic salmon type low water wets. Read Trey Combs' books, (or Deke Meyer or Dick Van Denmark, or anybody else) and pick away. Steelhead flies can be fished with some thought and help hook fish, but overall, they catch us, not the fish. Basic colors in different sink rates, plus a few nymphs, low water wets, and a skater or two will set you up nicely for the summer. Another good overall weighted pattern is a purple floozy, but once again, I like the pattern, and that's why I have caught a bunch of fish with it. If you believe in what you tie on your tippet, the steelhead will believe also. Confidence in what you fish is a big part of this game. I went a whole summer with a purple fly and an orange fly (same tie in different colors and sink rates) and did as well as when I had a box of everything. Purple has always had a little extra magic to it for me in summer. Good luck to you and I wish you a great summer of chasing a very special fish. Tight lines Coach
     
  4. Preston

    Preston Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,109
    Likes Received:
    1,481
    Location:
    .
    A summer fly that I would not be without is the Spade. Perhaps better suited for low summer flows (though I've done well fishing it in higher, late spring/early summer flows on a sink tip), I tie it in 6, 8 and 10, usually on a light wire hook. I like to add a little brightly-colored dubbing for a butt (the orange-butt version is sometimes called the Dean River Spade). Over the years, the green-butt version has probably been the most successful.
    It can be fished on the swing with either a sinking tip or floating line, but my favorite way to fish it greased line style with a floater.
     
  5. Buck

    Buck "Ride'n Dirty."

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,581
    Likes Received:
    107
    Tie a size 6 and 8 prince BH or no, doesn't matter
     
  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,798
    Likes Received:
    5,304
    Location:
    Your City ,State
    A little story about steelhead fly patterns. When I first began trying to unravel the mystery of steelhead fly fishing - before the internet, and the only books on the subject were already out of date, and hardly anyone in a fly shop knew didly about steelhead fly fishing - I picked up a few steelhead flies from my local shop. Then I tried tying some flies myself. Not just any flies. I figured the ones I tied had better be "EXACT" replicas of the ones I bought, or otherwise steelhead might reject them as not being "proper" or "real" steelhead flies.

    Fast forward a couple seasons, and I understood that steelhead will readily hit a hook with a small piece of red, orange, or any other color yarn tied to it. So I tied flies with whatever materials I wanted, in whatever colors I wanted, etc. They all work. Steelhead aren't very sophisticated. Day in and day out, fly pattern is the least of your worries. If anything matters, size will matter long before pattern does. Occasionally bright patterns are not the answer. Flies with action sometimes appear to produce better than flies without it, and then again they don't.

    Anytime you find yourself hung up about your steelhead fly pattern, just know that you're not focusing your energy on solving the problem of finding a steelhead and inducing a strike. Refocus.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  7. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    3,549
    Likes Received:
    1,623
    Location:
    Quesnel, BC
    Think of it like a cat with a string...

    The cat doesn't want to eat the string, but it will certainly "hit" it if you make it behave correctly. The size and color isn't as important as getting it down to where they can play with it.
     
  8. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    3,721
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Kenmore
    That is the best analogy there is as I've used it several times. "If you make it behave correctly" is key along with the confidence factor.
     
  9. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,986
    Likes Received:
    318
    Location:
    Bellingham
    You guys are right but I have to add that even more important than behavior is reading the water, weather, conditions, visibility, so you actually know where in the river to "make it behave correctly". :thumb: I know you know that, I am typing this for the original poster BTW.
     
  10. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    3,721
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Kenmore
    True enough, you have to fish where the fish are.
     
  11. Mike S

    Mike S New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Issaquah, WA
    Funny how things all come together. Whoever posted about the Lamphry, I was just watching an old Gary Borger video about stream preservation and he mentioned Lamphries as a major problem in the Great Lakes in the 70's. He showed some photos of them.... Ugly things.


    Mike
     
  12. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,639
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Issaquah, WA
    Home Page:
    Mike - just stop by my place and I'll show you the flies that work around here!

    Jason