Fishing "Used" steelhead water

#17
I could care less if a dude just stepped out of a run 10 seconds ago. No need to get funky, nymph, or any of that BS. Just step in and know what you're doing, and assume the other guy doesn't....fish on. Many of my steelhead taken over the past two months have occurred with me sitting patiently at the top of a run waiting for the guy below to give me swinging space. There's nothing better than watching the WTF :hmmm: expression when you hit a fish a guy just swung over 3 minutes ago.
Sometimes funky is good and that does not mean using a bobber. We all fish differently and have a chance at fish that someone missed. Gear, bobber, tip, dry, skater, etc. I remember last year watching Zen and a couple of the Montana Militia nymph a run opposite of where I was swinging and have JD Love walk above them and work his was down onto fish they missed. It was funny as hell.
 

chromeseeker

Where's the Bucket?
#18
What it basically comes down to is: how well do you know the river your fishing and how the fish like the fly presented in not only that river but that particular run. This isn't high-end mental stuff here. The rest is left to chance. Sometimes a fish will see 1,000 flies presented at a certain angle and refuse them but happens to grab the 1,001st. Not necessarily because the angler had any more skill but because the steelie thought: WTF, that's a little different and it pisses me off...I'll grab it!

Trout are a hell of a lot more selective than steelhead. Hell, back in 2000-2001 (may be true again this year with the big returns) a FIRST TIME fly angler could hit the Deschutes and hook double digit fish in one day, used water or not.

Like I said, not high-end mental stuff here....

CS
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#20
The largest steelhead I have caught out of the Skagit was caught in the middle of the afternoon on one of the more famous runs after countless fishermen of all abilities had fished it. I caught 3 steelhead within 10 casts on that afternoon in that run. There are no absolutes in winter/spring steelheading.
 

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
#21
I could care less if a dude just stepped out of a run 10 seconds ago. No need to get funky, nymph, or any of that BS. Just step in and know what you're doing, and assume the other guy doesn't....fish on. Many of my steelhead taken over the past two months have occurred with me sitting patiently at the top of a run waiting for the guy below to give me swinging space. There's nothing better than watching the WTF :hmmm: expression when you hit a fish a guy just swung over 3 minutes ago.
Like it, Pan. That's about what I was going to say. I'd add "give them something unexpected." If you're following folks with floating lines and riffle hitched little flies, put on a tip, and drag a big fly past their noses where they're hunkered down.

Sometimes it's myself I'm following, like a couple of weeks ago on the Klickitat. I ran through a run swinging on a short tip. Found nothing. Walked back up, tied on a jig deep under an indicator. Landed one, lost two, in the same run.
 
#22
As an example, I fished a tailout yesterday with a skater...nothing, then on a wetfly...nothing. Switched to an intermediate poly on the same tailout nothing. I knew fish were there because they were active during first light. I was the only fisherman there, so I worked that tailout like it was nobody's business. I finally crossed over to the other side and decided to swing from a different perspective.

It was then that I saw a fish move and I spotted her lie in less than 2 feet of water. I swung to her at least 8x with the same intermediate poly and wetfly 3 inches above her nose...nada. So I switched to an articulated spey that swung a little deeper and when that fish saw that it was on her same plane of view she darted forward and engulfed the fly. All visual: swing, grab, and turn. Just like the movies...;)

Adrian.
 
#23
I fished "very used" water today 9/6 and got a little 24" hatchery hen on a waker. I fished the side channel below a hatchery outflow. This spot is typically regularly fished by a rotation of gear guys and fly guys nymphing. Just so happens, when I arrived at about 2pm, no one was fishing it. I figured what the heck, gave it a go and was rewarded after about a dozen casts.

Thanks guys for the discussion on this topic. After reading your replies, I fished water today that I normally would have passed up because I would have assumed it was "used" and not worth the effort with a waker.

Todd
 

SpeySpaz

still an authority on nothing
#24
I caught a nice buck out of some water that gets pounded today, by greaselining/swinging.
sometimes a little finesse goes a long way...as does a suicidal attitude on the part of a fish.

I guess I'm a blind squirrel who got his nut.
 
#25
Spaz............I got to come up from P town sometime and go casting with ya. Maybe the Cow-lips or the Kalama. Except everybody knows about the Kalama now.:rolleyes:
 

SpeySpaz

still an authority on nothing
#26
LOL!
I'll be at Blue Creek Sun AM, putting on a clinic on fishing used water...
"how to wrap a fly line around your head, burn it with a cigar, swill whiskey from your flask and cuss".
20$ a head, anyone interested?
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#27
LOL!
I'll be at Blue Creek Sun AM, putting on a clinic on fishing used water...
"how to wrap a fly line around your head, burn it with a cigar, swill whiskey from your flask and cuss".
20$ a head, anyone interested?
If I was not on call this weekend and locked down the the county I'd be at Blue Creek early to get a good seat for that show!
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#29
So was I crazy man, so was I. I'm hoping to get some time on some water somewhere tomorrow. The weekend will be the misses' homework push for the final time!
 

Tom Johnston

Been around a while
#30
Is Blue Creek a reasonable place to throw a spey line for practice? Ive been there and launched in a sled with a guide to gear fish for steelies but never did see anyone FF there.
 

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