Did okay from the beaches, but no luck in freshwater. The going strategy is attempting to put a jigging action on a pink & swimmy fly and strip it in front of them while they’re holding. Anyone have luck with a certain strategy?
Find the quiet fish that are not rolling a ton, pinks love it jiggy, a jiggy strip, swing, swing with a twitch, caught in all maners. Find what they want that day, once we get some water in the rivers they will wake up more.
I have seen them get really tight lipped. If you aren't getting hits after trying everything you can think of, move to another spot. If the classic salmon colors of pink, purple, chartreuse aren't doing it, try something trouty like black, white, olive.
My experience is that they prefer a pink jig and like to hit it on the fall. Lift the rod, drop the rod, feed line (3-4' drop). You'll feel them on the next lift if they're biting. When the bite is on and they're in there thick, you'll hook one on nearly every cast. Just my two cents for what its worth.
I would say fish all combo types to find out what is working and what they want. I was fishing one combo that produces and a buddy was fishing another combo and out fished me. I fish one combo on one river and that combo doesnot work on other rivers. Trial and error to find what is best for you and works that day.
Depends on the water. Classic steelhead run - you can swing with a small pink fly. Allow a little more dead drifting as well as imparting a little action on it just to see what might trigger the strikes. In frog water (slow deep pools), an intermediate line with slow retrieve and short strips with 3 second pauses can work. Or as noted, the floating line, beadhead fly, small clouser, or other weighted fly allowed to rise and fall on the slow strip. Experiment with depth and speed to see what triggers them.
All of the above comments are good but like all salmon they can get picky at times. Just keep casting to them and aim for the fish on the edges. From a few weeks ago using a Fenwick FF79 and long leader and small pink fly.
I find the presentation is more important than the fly. The key is dead drifting the fly down in front of them, w/in inches of the bottom. In faster water and stronger currents, I use a heavier tip, with about 3' of tippet. In slower water, I often use a long mono leader with weighted fly....whatever it takes to get the fly down to them. Either way, I keep enough tension on the fly to "feel" I'm at, or near, the bottom. I generally use a variation of a "handlebar" fly, as they're easy to tie, and easy to determine where I am in depth.