Why don't steelhead flies use a weedless hook?

JesseC

Active Member
#1
Maybe a stupid question - but I'm wondering if a weed guard would really limit productivity of a swung fly? All of my takes have been pretty violent BAMS and I am not sure a wire guard would make much a difference?

Open to some sanity from the more experienced crowd...

Sick of losing 5 flies a day :)
 

Ringlee

Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
#2
Try a lighter tip. Most of the time it's not my hook stuck on the bottom, but the entire fly wedged in the substrate.
 
#3
First, how would you tie on a weedless hook? Second, you'd miss the soft takes. But, if all of your takes have been smashes--you likely are already missing the soft ones ;) . My takes have gone about 50:50 this season. Some are just a hesitation in the swing when it shouldn't.

Like ringlee said, lighter tips. Or, lighter flies if it is really your flies that are hanging up, not your tip. If you "need" to get deeper, just run a lighter/shorter tip and a sparse heavily weighted fly, in hopes that the fly will stay lower than your tip. Oh yeah, use maxima ultragreen #15, you'll get most of your flies back.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
#6
Maybe a stupid question - but I'm wondering if a weed guard would really limit productivity of a swung fly? All of my takes have been pretty violent BAMS and I am not sure a wire guard would make much a difference?

Open to some sanity from the more experienced crowd...

Sick of losing 5 flies a day :)
Why not be proud of how well you're getting down!! Guess you've been dredging for winter fish. Even so, losing 5 flies a day to the bottom means you're where you should be...or maybe a little deeper. Your likely to catch fish there...I'd give up 5 flies to the bottom for a daily hook-up.
 
#11
You are probably doing what Ed calls an "auto mend". A lot of guys will kick a mend just out of habit, even though casting downstream at 45 degree will give sufficient swing and depth. Mending can be very counter productive at times. Shorter tips and lighter flies will help, but a weed guard, not so much. Its more common for the sink tip or the side of the fly to get wedged between a rock, not the hook point. My buddy has the same problem, and its frustrating when he has to tap into my flies and tips on the river. He has a tendency to walk straight to the tail out and fish the shallow standing waves, he hasn't got a fish on the swing yet........ Hope this helps
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#12
I don't use weedless hooks when steelhead fishing because the steelhead holding water that I fish isn't in the weeds.

If you're sick of losing 5 flies a day, you're not ready to be a steelhead fisherman.

Sg
 

JesseC

Active Member
#13
I think my swinging has gotten a lot worse the more that I've been doing it. I caught myself going into autobot mode last weekend. I would zap a cast out, mend it up, swing it, step down, repeat it. When I first started swinging I would really concentrate on burying that fly, even if it meant walking it down, casting it higher up, or stack mending behind it.

I've heard all the above mending is not a good idea - so I quit. Plus it's more relaxing to just autobot swing down a run. But, I haven't caught as many fish.

First fish I caught I was practically high stick nymphing with a swung fly.... fish took it right as it started swinging up. Second fish I caught I probably had about 20 ft of leader out and was just probing a little side run where it looked like fish would hold after charging up. Third fish I caught was on a really popular run - but during high water and was right at the end of the swing down from my feet. That was probably the most traditionally caught fish.

In summary, I think I need to think more when I'm fishing instead of just swing swing swing swing swing swing swing swing swing swinging.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
#14
Ever wonder why every "live" steelhead you've seen in a pic or you've landed appears to be looking down? Think there's a reason? The substrate requires concentration for an up-migrating fish...but then again, if a steelhead is holding happy it might look up!
 
#15
The Fly Shop TFS 5444 Hook is another option. It is a jig/fly hook that takes very little weight to have it fish upright.The TFS 5444 has become one of my favorite steelhead wet fly pattern hooks for fishing close to the bottom, for patterns I want to tie onto a hook. It is fairly snag less and the hook to land ratio for the hook has been very good, usually planted in the upper jaw.

One unique rigging I'll do with this hook for weighting. Is to put hematite or small solid brass beads(no tapered hole) onto a sewing pin and tie the sewing pin onto the bottom of the hook, parallel to the hook shank.

Another weight rigging is sliding onto the hook, a tapered hole brass bead and then tying a piece of lead wrap onto the bottom of the hook, parallel to the hook shank. The tapered hole brass bead bead can be omitted and just the lead wrap used. Tied onto the bottom of the hook, parallel to the hook shank. Different diameters of lead wrap are used to change the overall weight also.

And then another weight rigging that is similar to the above weight riggings. Is to slide a plastic bead onto a escutcheon pin(round head finish nail) and with two lead wrap pieces on each side of the escutcheon pin, tie onto the bottom of the hook, parallel to the hook shank. All different colors of plastic beads can be used with this rigging and weighting the bottom of the hook shank to turn the hook upright.

https://catalog.theflyshop.com/product_info.php?cPath=337_426_427&products_id=7568

GG