my first steelhead was actually my best one and jumped on a nymphed yarnie i tied with 'Yard by headlamp around the fire on the hoh the night before. 15 pounds of queets river chrome! never forget that fish as long as i live. my 2nd and 3rd were the following day and they were actually on a pink worm i stole from 'Yard's box of goodies. but that worm wasn't rubber! and may or may not have been tied on a 1/16th oz jighead.
that week camped out on the coast was the beginning of the end for me. i was a little reluctant to give up brown trout and the salt beaches but a steelhead on the skated dry changed that. been a little over a year since that one and i haven't missed a beat. steelhead year round is the program now.
you might forget all about chironomids and humpies there Paul if you aren't careful. you'll be cracking out on river flows, tying pretty flies and saying shit like "I fished well today, just no one home."
Steve, my first love is saltwater fly fishing. Steelheading just rounds out the rest of the calendar year for me. Mid Nov. - March (winter steel with a trip to Cabo to warm up my frozen steelhead hands), April - June (Stillwater at Pass lake and then migrating to Eastern WA and then BC lakes), July - September (salmon and salt species), Oct - Nov (finishing up with stillwater and a little chum and B run Coho). I won't bother with summer run steel unless I lived along the Wa/ID/OR border. What it does mean for me is probably another Spey or switch rod. My wife already knows I'm crazy, and sometimes I admit that I am as well. Moving from CO to WA 11 years ago has been the best thing that's happened for my Flyfishing 'hobby'. There were only a few species to chase: trout, Kokanee, bass, bream, pike, and carp. A skilled fisherman would only need a few rods and lines. This is insanity, living in WA: with gear after gear... Boats, prams, toons, an armada of rods from 3 wt to 12: single hand, two handers, switch. It's not juat about Steelhead it's about the pursuit. The tug is the drug! As long as it swims and can be caught I'll be there chasing them.