what are your favorite 3 winter steelhead pattens?


I live in s.w. Wa. state/Pacific county.. we have our share of Steelhead and Salmon here but to be honest few fly fishers.. There of course are thousands of steelhead flies and pattens, I am curious to know what fly or flies any of you have used that actually work well enough that they should be in everyones fly box.

Our water conditions, cold quick running rivers, tend to get dark after constant rainfall..

Favorite setup of lure fishers are , salmon eggs , pink corkie and yarn. spinglows. golf tees etc.

Steelhead and salmon seem to hit the lures but not the flies. ??

thank you, Ron


Active Member
My favorite winter steelhead flies are: 1) Glasso's Orange Heron (the fly I usually tie on first); 2) Glasso's Sol Duc Spey; 3) Glasso's Sol Duc; 4) Glasso's version of the Polar Shrimp; 5) Glasso's Brown Heron; 6) General Practitioner; 7) Ally's Shrimp; 8) Black Ally's Shrimp; 9) Purple Ally's Shrimip; 10) the old classic atlantic salmon fly The Ghost tied spey style; 11) Walt Johnson's Red Shrimp; 12) Walt Johnson's Deep Purple Spey; 13) Price-Tannat's Avon Dee' 14) Steve Govin's Purple Spey; 15) Bob Arnold's Royal Flash tied as a spey fly.

As you can see, I prefer to fish with spey and shrimp style flies because they give the illusion of bulk, while being rather sparse. Truthfully, carrying flies in hot orange, hot orange & yellow, orange & black, purple, blue & red, red, and black will cover all your needs.

Simple and effective flies to do this with are the marabou spiders with 2-tone marabou hackle collars and a very short, stubby chenile or dubbed body (more of a shoulder really) that have a dyed mallard or guinea face hackle. Just tie them in the colors listed in the prior paragraph on hooks from #2/0 to #2 and you will be well equipped.

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
Purple and Black Bunny Leech, unweighted.

Black and Purple Bunny Leech, weighted.

Hot Pink Bunny Leech, either way.
I use a lot of leech patterns....One is a fly called a "liqui-filled leech".....I got the pattern from Bjorn Beech at the Fly Fisher in Lacey.....Anyways, the fly is a suped up version of a purple or black egg sucking leech....

I like fishing in riffles (not the fast white cap water but the portion after that at the head of a pool) and I use an 8 to 10 foot sink tip and keep my rod high trying to keep as much line off of the water as possible...Keeping the fly tumbling along as slowly as I can and watching the line......If the line pauses through the drift just I give it a half-set (it might be a rock) and if I feel the fish shake or pull then "Wham" set the hook.....

I find this to be very effective....Hooked into 3 fish yesterday on the Kalama and landed one of them....

Best of luck!

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